Herbal medicines are in practice for thousands of years and many of them such as medical or legal marijuana has proven painkilling effects. But more than 90% of the products made or medical marijuana contain an extremely strong effect which is higher than the daily recommended dose by a doctor. This strong pain relief effect seems like a good thing but in reality, it is quite the opposite.
The complete study findings are published in the journal PLOS ONE.
The first author of this study, Alfonso Edgar Romero-Sandoval teaches anesthesiology at Wake Forest School of Medicine. He says that; “We know that high-potency products should not have a place in the medical realm because of the high risk of developing cannabis-use disorders, which are related to exposure to high THC-content products.”
He further adds that; “Several earlier studies showed that levels of up to 5% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – the main psychoactive compound in marijuana that provides pain relief as well as intoxication—were sufficient to reduce chronic pain with minimal side effects.”
This study was targeted on THC and cannabidiol (CBD) inside the legal marijuana-based products. It was to check and evaluate their safety levels for medical treatments and compare their benefits with standard pain killers.
The study results reported the THC and CBD concentrations inside the legal marijuana-based products, both of these are non-psychoactive compounds of the cannabis plant. The products that they studied were available at all legal dispensary online within and around the states of California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.
The total cannabis-based products that were studied under this experiment were approximate, 8,505 in number, collected from 653 medical dispensaries from the above-listed states.
Romero-Sandoval and his research team found that many of these cannabis-based products from authorized medical dispensaries had at least 10% or higher THC and some of them even had 15% or even higher. This concentration is similar to recreational cannabis products.
This is surprising and worrisome because 60% to 80% of people who buy these medical marijuana-based products use them to relieve pain. Having such a high concentration of THC brings more risk to their health. It could cause dependency on the product. Even worse than these products can put all their users into a risk of dependency, which means even this 10% or 15% concentration wouldn’t work for them and they would require an even higher dose of these products for relieving the same intensity of pain.
Romero-Sandoval shares that “It can become a vicious cycle. Better regulation of the potency of medical marijuana products is critical. The FDA regulates the level of over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen that have dose-specific side effects, so why don’t we have policies and regulations for cannabis, something that is far more dangerous?”
This research study is evidence to prove that cannabis products in the USA need to be re-evaluated and checked for their safety levels. They suggest the federal policymakers identify this problem and correct it before it is too late, ensuring the safe health of the patients.